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Atherinops affinis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII ATHERINIFORMES ATHERINOPSIDAE

Scientific Name: Atherinops affinis
Species Authority: (Ayres 1860)
Common Name(s):
English Topsmelt Silverside, Topsmelt
French Athérine Grognon
Spanish Pejerrey Mocho, Pejerrey Pescadillo
Synonym(s):
Atherinops affinis affinis (Ayres 1860)
Atherinops affinis littoralis Hubbs 1918
Atherinops cedroscensis Hubbs 1918
Atherinops guadalupae Hubbs 1918
Atherinops insularum Gilbert 1891
Atherinops insularum cedroscensis Hubbs 1918
Atherinops insularum guadalupae Hubbs 1918
Atherinops littoralis Hubbs 1918
Atherinops magdalenae Fowler 1903
Atherinops oregonia Jordan and Snyder 1913
Atherinopsis affinis Ayres 1860

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-05-01
Assessor(s): Iwamoto, T., Eschmeyer, W., Smith-Vaniz, B. & Alvarado, J.
Reviewer(s): Carpenter, K., Polidoro, B. & Livingstone, S. (Global Marine Species Assessment Team)
Justification:
This species has a wide distribution in the Eastern Pacific, occurs in at least a few marine protected areas, and there are no known major threats. Therefore, this species is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found from Canada to Baja California, and the upper Gulf of California.
Countries:
Native:
Canada; Mexico; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northeast
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is considered to be a common species.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found in marine and brackish waters (Robertson and Allen 2002) down to depths of 26m. This species is commonly found in bays, muddy and rocky areas and kelp beds, and is also common in estuaries (Watson 1996). Adults feed on zooplankton (Lavenberg 1995), while juveniles feed on algae, kelp, and fly larvae (Fitch, J.E. and R.J. Lavenberg 1975). Juvenile and adults will move into shallow waters and feed on the bottom (Emmett 1991). This fish is a demersal spawner in nearshore habitats (Shanks 2005) that is oviparous, with planktonic, primarily neustonic larvae (Watson 1996). Eggs are benthic, larvae are planktonic, and juveniles and adults are schooling pelagic fish. Eggs are attached to spawning substrate and to one another by adhesive filaments (Watson 1996). Eggs are laid primarily on eelgrass (Zostera spp.) and adhere to macroalgae on tidal flats. Larvae are often found over soft, unconsolidated sediments and other substrates. Juveniles and adults occur along sandy beaches, in kelp beds, over rocky reefs, and around piers (Emmett 1991).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is found in commercial fisheries and is also taken by sport fishermen. This is species is caught with different types of gear. Although the topsmelt is an excellent food fish, there is a very limited commercial catch. The topsmelt represents only about 15-25% of the California "smelt" catch (Emmett 1991).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species. However, this species is found in commercial fisheries and is also taken by sport fishermen.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known conservation measures for this species. However, this species' distribution includes a number of Marine Protected Areas in the eastern Pacific region (WDPA 2006).

Citation: Iwamoto, T., Eschmeyer, W., Smith-Vaniz, B. & Alvarado, J. 2010. Atherinops affinis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 August 2014.
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